T Nation

Drop Sets, Forced Reps


#1

Hey everyone
Ive been hearing since many years that long term gains in lean muscle can only be made by consistently adding weight to the bar and all that the various techniques such as drop sets, forced reps, static holds for time, extremely high volume etc do is increase the pump and only and this cant produce CONSISTENT reliable muscle growth over an extended period and these gains wont stick around unless that "additional lean mass" is used to get stronger by reverting to high intensity/low volume training.

1- apart from beginners should these techniques be given importance or are they completely useless? and if they are so then why are they so popular particularly drop sets?

2 - if they cause muscle growth then is it tru that its only for short period and a switch back to heavy wts/low volume is needed to sustain the gains made by the former?


#2

I've been using various drop sets consistently for about 1.5 years now so I'm qualified to legitimately say that they absolutely 100% work.

The idea is that drop sets allow you to train past mechanical failure by decreasing load. More work = more growth.

I have found drop sets to be most useful as the last work set of particular exercise. I'll do 1, maybe 2 drop sets during an entire session.

I have found bench press drop sets, leg press drop sets, leg extension drop sets, and BB curl (gasp!) drop sets to be extremely effective. The only complaint I have with them is that certain exercises require a competent spotter to strip weight timely and properly and provide a careful spot. Unless my regulars are at the gym, I'll have to spend time giving some guy crystal clear instructions of what I need him to do, and even after that its a 50/50 chance they were actually listening and capable of following instructions.

I can certainly tell a difference in soreness the day after a drop set, which lets me know that it's worth its salt.

Although they do make for a wicked pump, if you do them right a proper drop set will rock your world.

Quit reading about them and get in the gym and give them a try for a month or two.

To answer your question:
1) they are so popular because they WORK
2) They will keep causing muscle growth as long as you keep consistently increasing poundages being used OR increasin the number of reps done in each phase of the drop set. As long as your lifts are progressing and you are eating properly, your physique will progress too.


#3

do you use them all the time?


#4

I do drops every training session. Take that to the bank


#5

Why I like and use to supplement my standard hard and heavy training,
1) good for conditioning the muscle (endurance and recovery)
2) good stimulus for balanced hypertrophy of type I and II fibers
3) increases total contraction working time, which is what I want to increase caloric expenditure during sessions (the whole fat loss thing, goto the other thread on cardio for bodybuilding for all the fun stuff on this)


#6

i use drop sets a lot, they work u can check my progress if you want, latest pic is in boi....

what i'll do is rest for about 20-40 seconds drop the weight by 10kg or 20lbs and then bust out as many reps as possible...


#7

so do you guys feel it is important to come back to heavy lifting after doing drop sets,forced reps n other techniquess or u keep on using them continuously in every workout?


#8

I like forced reps and rest pause. Forced reps if you have a spotter, and rest pause if you dont (depending on the exercise)

I think these two methods are a great way of increasing the amount of load your muscles undergo. Drop sets are good, but people often misuse them and "just go for the pump".